President Barack Obama officially declared Tuesday “National Equal Pay Day,” symbolically marking how much extra work women supposedly must perform to reach pay parity with men.
“Women — who make up nearly half of our nation’s workforce — face a pay gap that means they earn 23 percent less on average than men do. That disparity is even greater for African-American women and Latinas,” Obama said in a statement issued Monday. “On National Equal Pay Day, we recognize this injustice by marking how far into the new year women have to work just to make what men did in the previous one.”
While Obama, who signed the 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to make filing employment-discrimination suits easier, has repeatedly lamented statistics showing that men generally earn more than women, the Obama White House has failed in recent years to pay female employees the same amount as male ones.